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Phoenix Mass Market Paperback – Dec 12 2012

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (MM); Reissue edition (Nov. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441662250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441662258
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #709,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Phoenix: Vlad Taltos Reborn? June 11 2000
By Joe White - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Steven Brust's sixth novel of the Vlad Taltos series, our "hero" (Vlad Taltos) attempts to come to terms with his role as an assassin, his "racism" and his job as a crime-lord. Vlad begins to realize that, perhaps, what he does for a living is wrong. He then confronts his weaknesses head on. Add to this the fact that everyone in the book is trying to kill him and you are in for the ride of your life.
If you want to try something new and you are tired of all the J.R.R. Tolkien clones that make up epic fantasy today, give Steven Brust and the Vlad Taltos novels a shot. This is irreverent "epic" fantasy. And thank goodness for it.
Note: I would start with the first Vlad Taltos novel, Taltos, and continue with Dragon, Yendi, Jhereg, Teckla, Phoenix, Athyra and Orca. That wasn't the order they were written in but it's the order in which they take place.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
One of the finest moments in fantasy writing to date Sept. 7 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Phoenix was originally intended to be the last volume of this series. Had Brust decided to stick with this decision (and I for one am glad that he did not), he could have retired from writing about Vlad with confidence and pride, because this is without doubt, hands down, no contest the best bloody book in the whole bloody series. The 5-star rating above is a gross understatement. From Vlad's stunning prison-break to the week-long battle through the streets of Adrilankha when the revolution finally breaks out for real, Phoenix never lets up. And neither does Vlad; he manages to bring down the wrath of almost everyone who could do him damage and then some. Also, the pain-wracked soul-searching he began in Teckla comes to a head as he realizes that the reasoning behind his racism, his vindictiveness, and perhaps his very life is deeply flawed. An utterly engrossing, thrilling read, this is perhaps Brust's best work to date.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The series really picks up here. Aug. 24 2000
By Christopher Ware - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's something about this book that puts it above the first four in the series. I don't know if it was the fact that Brust's writing became better (I didn't really notice anything different) or that Vlad becomes more of a dynamic character, but it was more enjoyable than the others.
We finally get to see Vlad doing some real soul searching about what he does for a living. We also see more of the agony he is experiencing due to the fact that his marriage is falling apart. This makes Vlad a much more three dimensional character and more enjoyable to read. I also liked the fact that, towards the end of the book, we get to know his grandfather a little better. I'd love to see him get a bigger part in a future book.
The adventure and suspense in this book have been turned up since the last one. I found myself unable to put the book down at night. I always wanted to see what happened next. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best book in the series so far.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Yup - Brust does it again. Nov. 14 2002
By Erin K. Darling - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Each time I get a new installment of the Vlad Taltos series, I can hardly wait to get started, anticipating a fast-paced, clever and completely irreverent ride through a world very like our own, and yet so different from anything we know. _Phoenix_ did not let me down; in fact, this may just be the best book thus far the in series.
Cornered and fighting for his life, Vlad half-heartedly calls upon his goddess, Verra, to save him. Much to his astonishment, she does, and in exchange for the rescue, asked him to perform a task for her. That singular task leads to catastrophe for the entire Empire, which in itself would be bad enough, but events revolving around the Teckla/Easterner revolution seem to have Vlad's life hanging by an unravelling thread. Brust skillfully reveals just enough of the plot to answer one question, while bringing several others to light.
He also allows us a more intimate view of Vlad's inner life, as Vlad more seriously begins to question his profession and its associated ethics. He realizes that he may not, in fact, loathe the Dragaerans as much as he thinks he does, largely because every time he's in trouble, he turns to two of his closest friends, Morrolan and Aliera. These two Dragonlords are such interesting characters, and are always there to back up their short-lived, human friend for reasons that have yet to be fully revealed, I think.
While all of this internal and external chaos is going on, Vlad must also cope with his marriage crashing down all around him, as he tries to save the woman he so desperately loves, but seems to have no use for him anymore. Fortunately, he has Loiosh and Rocza by his side for comfort, and we see a bit more of their respective personalities in this installment, as well as Vlad's Noish-pa, who is a delightful and welcome co-star in the story, rather than a brief cameo as he has been in the past.
It's my understanding that this was intended to be the last Taltos book, and the ending would indicate this as well; however, I am greatly relieved that there are many books after this one, as I would hate to see this series end. There are so many questions to answer, and so many hugely varied directions Brust could take the characters, that it would seem to stave off the boredom some authors have set in after a few books in the same universe. I sincerely hope he continues to produce the series for many years; I would miss his detailed descriptions of flavors, aromas, actions and feelings as he weaves his clever tales. I would miss the subtle (and often overt) cynicism through which Vlad experiences the world that so closely mirrors my own. I would hate not knowing "what happened" to these characters who have become virtual companions in my brain - no no, I'm honestly not insane or completely pathetic, I swear! Brust simply does such a good job of bringing them to life, that they occasionally pop into my head to comment on one thing or another.
[arching eyebrow]
Ok, I can hear you out there, saying "Ooooooh boy, this chick's totally lost it. She needs a big, hot steaming mug of reality, and fast." No really! They're just exceptionally vivid characters! I...hey...wait a minute! What're you doing with that funny white coat? I ... HEY! [struggle, struggle, struggle]
Alright, before these four large men haul me away, just let me say - read this book! Read the series! You won't be disappointed. :-)
A turning point in Vlad's story March 20 2015
By Katherine - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
3.5 stars. Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

Phoenix, the fifth novel in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series, is a turning point in Vlad’s story. By the end of this book, his life will have changed drastically. The story begins as Vlad is stuck in a situation that he might not be able to get out of alive. In desperation, he calls on Verra, his patron goddess, for help. She saves him (or so it appears), and in return she demands that he sail to the island kingdom of Greenaere and assassinate its king. Vlad can’t refuse, and so he goes. This sets off a series of events that eventually lead to a Teckla revolution in Adrilankha. During all the turmoil, both Vlad and his wife Cawti, a member of a rebel group, are captured and rescued more than once, and both have reason to believe they don’t have much longer to live. The usual crew is there to help, though, including Kragar (Vlad’s assistant), Loiosh and Rocza (his jhereg familiars), and Morrollan and Aliera (powerful Dragonlords). There are new faces, too, including a spacey drummer from Greenaere. In the end, Vlad pisses off all the wrong people…

The plot of Phoenix is fast moving and fairly exciting, though I didn’t think it always made perfect sense (such as how easy it was to get close to the king — twice —on that island). Adrilankha is a city on the brink of war and Vlad is highly engaged because not only does he suspect that his actions may have caused the conflict, but his wife is a key member of a group that’s fomenting revolution. Vlad realizes that if she’s arrested and executed as a traitor, it might be his fault. The couple was already having marital problems due to Cawti’s growing dislike for Dragaeran society and Vlad’s role in it. The events in this story may push them apart forever. These events also make Vlad step back and take a look at his life. Is this really who he wants to be? A Jhereg crime boss, an assassin, and the lackey of a demon goddess? We see him questioning everything he stands for. Vlad tends to be flippant and snarky, which makes him fun to listen to, but this inner turmoil gives him more depth.
All of the political mayhem gives Brust a chance to give us a little more information about how his world works (I admit that I’m still shaky on this and not sure that it all fits together very snugly). We learn more of its political history and how its caste society functions. We also learn, along with Vlad, a little more about how the magic works after Vlad makes some discoveries on the island he visits. (Until now, Vlad has known almost nothing about the world outside his own country.) Lastly, there are some revelations about a couple of Vlad’s acquaintances. Two of them are related in a surprising way.

So, at the end of Phoenix, things are different. Will this be good or bad for Vlad? Will this be good or bad for the series? I guess we’ll see…
Audible Studios’ version of Phoenix is 8 hours long and narrated by Bernard Setaro Clark. He’s got Vlad’s cocky voice down perfectly. I love these audio versions of VLAD TALTOS.